Photography! What an amazing gift!

I met this awesome family through one of the daughters. She and I are in a small business group together. And while she now lives in NY, she was born and raised here in the ‘burgh! So when she saw my photography business in our group, she instantly hired me to photograph her new niece (as a surprise for them!).

Her new niece and her parents and grandparents and aunts, that is. Extended family photography!

Since more than half of our subjects were coming from out of town for the session, we knew we had to pick an indoor location. Phipps is one of the few options we’ve got here … plus it’s super pretty so win! In the end it didn’t matter because it was a gorgeous (hot) day.

And I love this family! So friendly and fun! At one point while baby girl was being fed and changed, mom and her daughters just had a random goofy photo shoot. And despite the difficulty of trying to shoot inside Phipps on a weekend, I think the pictures came out really well. I can’t wait for our ordering session next week! Thanks Skype!

Enjoy.

baby girl with parents at phippsbaby footbaby girl with her dad at phippsbaby girl being read a tiger bookbaby girl asleep in mombaby girl with her grandparentsbaby girl with her auntmom and daughter being goofy at phippsmom and daughter being goofy at phippsmom and daughters giving kissesextended family at phippsbaby girl with family at phippssisters

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Have you been to this place? What a great playground! I can’t believe I’ve never taken my kids here. It definitely needs to be put on the to-do list.

These guys were amazing for their family photography session. They came prepared with activities for the kids and had a blast just running around and having fun! That’s what it’s all about! The kiddos were about as cute as you can get. And apparently the little girl warmed up to me so well that dad was shocked. I should get her to write a testimonial. Can 2 year olds do that?

But truly I had so much fun photographing these guys. I hope I get to do it again someday!

baby boy in the baby swinglittle girl swinging highlittle girl feet on the swingsfamily blowing bubbleslittle girl playing with bubblesbaby boy with momlittle girl running in the fieldfamily playinglittle girl playing in a fieldlittle girl playing with dadbaby boy with momfamily walking togetherdad and kid at blue slide parklittle girl at blue slide park

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This family photo session┬ástarted with a bit of a surprise when I found my family. For some reason, in my mind, they had a two year old child. And yet here I was presented with a seven year old! My brain doesn’t always work properly.

But what a pleasant surprise! I don’t often get to photograph kids this age and I have to say it’s always so much fun when kids can actually hold a conversation. He told me all about his friends, his school, his sports … well he just really enjoyed talking. And I love a kid who knows how to have a good talk. When I told him to run up the hill and back, as I often do because kids are cute when they run, he BOOKED it faster than I’ve ever seen a kid run. Only one of those pictures was even in focus he was going so fast (seen below). When we got the playground we had to tell him he had to walk everywhere just so I could keep up. And he was so sweet trying to do all the letters of the sign language alphabet.

I really enjoyed this session and I can’t wait for their ordering session next week!

little boy on the slidelittle boy talkingboy smiling at the cameraboy looking over the fencepittsburgh family walking down a pathboy playing at the playgroundboy trying to do sign languagefamily sitting in the grasslittle boy runninglittle boy counting on his fingers

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Hey all! This post is about photo organization! If you’re here just to see my work … you’ll have better luck following this link here. ­čÖé

Let’s face it. We live in a digital world. We take pictures all day long. But at the end of the day, how do you deal with all of that media?

I’ve been taking pictures constantly since I was a teenager. And, believe it or not, I got my first digital camera when I was in high school (about 20 years ago). Back then my camera took HORRIBLE 400×600 photos. The quality was horrific. But it was digital and it was revolutionary and I brought that camera with me everywhere. The pictures weren’t even worth printing larger than 2×2. I paid over $300 for that thing!

But my point is that I’ve been needing to organize my digital photos for many many years. Five years from now I want to be able to find a certain set of photos without taking hours of digging through files that all follow the same naming format of┬áDSC_####.jpeg. I’ve gone through a handful of methods over the years but for the past 10 years at least I’ve followed this one format and it works perfectly for me.

My non-professional file names ALWAYS start with the date. If I were to take a photo today I would name it June0217xxxxx.jpg. That xxxxx part is dependent upon the photo. If I take an entire series of, for example, my kids playing on the trampoline and there are 20 some photos then it would be June0217trampoline01.jpg (and of course the 01 at the end is incrementing). If it were just a single photo of one of my kids it would be June0217elle01.jpg.

This way when I go to find an old photo (which happens more often than you might think) all I have to do is remember what month it was. And sometimes I suck at that. But I can usually narrow it down to a few possible months (sometime in the summer!) and skim through just those three months. Or I can say “we were playing on the trampoline” and just do searches for the word “trampoline.” This system works flawlessly for me.

So if any of you were struggling with this, I hope this helped you out!

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The number one question I get asked during photo shoots, aside from “will you come watch my baby in the middle of the night” is “did you go to school for photography?”

No. I actually went to school for web development. See this beautiful website?? Yeah it’s a template … but I customized it myself!

I took a single photography course in college. The kind with a film camera (it was the year 2000 digital was not all the rage yet) and a dark room and chemicals and all that fancy stuff! I learned some composition basics. I knew nothing about shooting manual. This was not the beginning of my love of photography.

I didn’t initially fall in love with the art of photography. I fell in love the the ability to capture memories. Back in the day we used film and everything got printed. So I had (still have) albums and albums of photos of me and my friends having a blast. I had a camera on me 90% of the time and I used it! It was just a cheap little $30 camera. Nothing fancy. But I had SCADS of photos. And I would love to look at them and remember what we were doing when I took those photos.

20170524_144736(A day with the neighborhood kids. We were filling buckets and dumping them on whoever was below under the big plastic tarp … a memory I would have lost without these photos. I was about 13 years old at this time.)

20170524_145015(This was during the time 12 years ago when I lived in France. This shot was on the plane or train between destinations in Italy. I am pretending to be scared of the monster we created and named “the gorgonzola.” We have shots from all over Europe of this mysterious creature.)

I laughed so much looking through my albums to find a couple pictures to share with you!

It wasn’t until I was much older that I fell in love with the art side. Now I’m a total light junkie. You might call me a snob. Might is a little nice. I’m a total snob when it comes to my pictures.

But the WHY is still the same. I want to capture the memories. The REAL TRUE memories of you playing with your babies, of you having your traditions, of you and your family living your lives. My pictures look a lot prettier now that I have a big girl camera and I know how to use it and I am a light junkie … but the feeling behind it all is the same.

April3014painting08(Painting fun with my girls 3 years ago. SO TINY AND CUTE!! I still have these paintings on my wall.)

Remember when you did that? Remember when they looked like this? Remember when this was such a big part of your lives? Remember how much fun it was (remember how hard it was?)?

Let me help you remember. ­čÖé

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